Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Leicester House in Greater Asheville, North Carolina by SPG Architects
April 21st, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
This hilltop residence, located at the edge of a wooded knoll in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, has expansive southern and western views. Approaching the house through these woods, one arrives at a striking single story façade of corten steel in a wood frame. A hint of the views is provided through the glass door, but it is not until entry that the full impact of the hilltop views can be experienced. The rear glass walls, which face West and South, are shielded by large overhangs and open to rolling farmland below and the mountains beyond.
The entry level serves as the primary living area comprised of living, dining, kitchen, study and master bedroom suite. A two-bedroom guest wing with a media room is carved into the hilltop one level below. Functionality and energy efficiency are achieved both by this programmatic zoning, which allows the lower level to be shut down during periods when there are no guests. The efficiencies of the layout are supplemented by careful choice of materials, fixtures, fittings, and energy systems. The ‘greening’ of the house complements its visual warmth, grounding the modern structure in its rural landscape.
Building Systems include the use of a geothermal field that greatly reduces energy consumption and costs associated with heating and cooling of the house. The house also has a rainwater collection system that collects 80% of water that falls on the rooftops and re-uses it for both toilets and landscaping needs. A green roof is incorporated over the guest wing to reduce water run-off, provide high insulation values and enhance the vistas from the upper level. Structural systems include a poured-in-place concrete lower level, with steel frame upper level super structure complemented by traditional wood framing throughout.
Materials include corten steel entry façade, cumaru wood siding, decks and interior floors, painted and stained oak and birch veneer cabinetry. All window systems and appliances and building system equipment are energy-star rated and lighting includes energy-efficient LED, fluorescent and low-voltage lighting throughout.
The house includes 3,450 SF of conditioned space and a 525 SF two-car garage and storage area.
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